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Modellers of biological, ecological, and environmental systems cannot take for granted the maxim 'simple means general means good'. We argue here that viewing simple models as the main way to achieve generality may be an obstacle to the progress of ecological research. We show how complex models can be both desirable and general, and how simple and complex(More)
What are the origins of the epistemological difficulties concerning representation? How have philosophers of science studying models and representation reacted to these difficulties? How else might scientific models be approached if not representationally? In addressing such questions, Models as Epistemic Artefacts: Toward a Non-Representationalist Account(More)
Using Corbino samples we have observed oscillatory dc conductance in a high-mobility two-dimensional electron system when it is subjected to crossed microwave and magnetic fields. At the strongest of the oscillation minima the conductance is found to be vanishingly small, indicating a macroscopic insulating state associated with this minimum. With(More)
We develop a framework for discussing the degree of conceptual autonomy of natural and artificial agents. We claim that aspects related to learning and communication necessitate adaptive agents that are partially autonomous. We demonstrate how partial conceptual autonomy can be obtained through a self-organization process. The input for the agents consists(More)
In this article we approach neural networks as computational templates that travel across various sciences. Traditionally, it has been thought that models are primarily models of some target systems: they are assumed to represent partially or completely their target systems. We argue, instead, that many computational models cannot easily be conceived of in(More)
The picture of synthetic biology as a kind of engineering science has largely created the public understanding of this novel field, covering both its promises and risks. In this paper, we will argue that the actual situation is more nuanced and complex. Synthetic biology is a highly interdisciplinary field of research located at the interface of physics,(More)
Synthetic biology is often understood in terms of the pursuit for well-characterized biological parts to create synthetic wholes. Accordingly, it has typically been conceived of as an engineering dominated and application oriented field. We argue that the relationship of synthetic biology to engineering is far more nuanced than that and involves a(More)